Boris Johnson may have finally got a Brexit deal, but it’s obvious that it’s far from the ideal one he was holding out for.
Earlier this week, the EU and the UK announced that they had reached a deal for the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union, which was decided through the EU referendum in 2016. In the years since, the UK and the EU have been working towards an exit deal – even with the threat of no deal looming in the distance.
From the 31 December 2020, the transition period will be over, although how this plays out in reality is still up in the air and the future is uncertain.
Femi Oluwole, a pro-EU activist who has been campaigning around Brexit and the EU referendum since 2016, explains why this Brexit deal has many elements that Johnson himself definitely disagrees with, in a viral video.
Femi explains that “the man who led Brexit from the very start lied to the public about every aspect of it in order to make it happen.” He uses public footage of speeches and parliamentary debates that Boris Johnson spoke in to point out the contradictions between what Johnson said and what he has actually done when it comes to Brexit.
While the contradictions are almost too many to name in one video - or even in one article - Femi picks out a few significant points of departure. One is from a speech which Johnson made when he was the Mayor of London, where he stated that London’s success was partially due to the UK’s membership of the EU, in particular the single market of the EU. In the last month, Johnson has confirmed that the UK will leave the single market – as Femi puts it, it shows that Johnson seems unbothered about the economic damage that Brexit might wreak on the UK.
In 2016, Johnson promised that despite Brexit leading to the departure of the UK from the EU, there will be no barriers to the single market when Brexit happens, and as such, no tariffs. But footage of press conferences from this year shows Johnson admitting that there will be new barriers to trade with the EU.
Perhaps one of the final nails in the coffin is when Johnson accused another MP for lying about the fact that Brexit threatens the Erasmus scheme – where university students in the UK can go abroad to various EU countries for a year to learn another language or simply to do another year of university.
But it’s been confirmed earlier this week that Erasmus will be no more after Brexit, something which Johnson and other members of the Conservative Party had said wouldn’t happen.
Boris Johnson does have a lot on his plate – the escalating covid cases in the UK, as well as accusations of inaction from pretty much every leading scientists and expert in the UK. But even he might find it difficult to argue that Femi’s video doesn’t paint a pretty damning picture of his inconsistencies on Brexit.